Employers must adhere to the correct health and safety requirements at all times in order to reduce the chance of an accident occurring and affecting a member of the public or a client. However, accidents can always happen, which could lead to a claim of compensation against your company. For this reason, many employers will have public liability insurance in place.
Why you may need public liability insurance
Accidents can happen even in the safest places. You may take every care to ensure that you adhered to health and safety guidelines in your place of work, and it may indeed be a safe environment. However, one slip on a wet floor is all it can take for someone to make a claim for compensation against you.
You may own a shop or restaurant that is used by members of the public every day, in which case public liability insurance is essential. However, even if you run an office that is not frequently visited by anyone other than your employees, there may still be occasion when other people have to enter the premises.
Insurance protects you from the possibility of paying to defend yourself in court and paying a large amount of compensation, which could be devastating for your business.
What does it cover?
Public liability insurance is available for a wide range of companies, from the largest multinationals to sole traders. The level of cover typically differs depending on the size of your business, but the basic elements of the cover usually remain the same.
Essentially, it will provide a certain amount of cover for your legal costs, including legal counsel, should you end up going to court to defend yourself. Even if the person making the claim is in the wrong, the cost of protecting yourself could still be high.
It also covers any compensation that you are required to pay, also up to a limit that you will agree when you take out the insurance.
In addition, and depending on the providers, you may be offered the option of including other types of insurance with this, such as employerss liability insurance.
Things to look out for
The amount that you pay for this insurance will not only depend on the provider that you use. It will also depend on the size of your business, the amount of contact that you have with the public, and the level of risk involved in your business.
For example, if you work with the public all the time in a setting like a shop, your level of risk may be perceived as higher compared to if you work in an office, and this may be reflected in the premium.
You usually have the option to choose how much cover you want to have in place. For example, cover may start at around £25,000, which may be all that you want. However, it can go up to millions of pounds in many situations. There is no right amount that you need, simply what you would like to have in place, and you may want to talk to an expert to get their advice.
If you have made claims in the past five years, this could also affect your premium.
Protect yourself from compensation claims
Public liability insurance is something that most businesses will want to have in place. If you decide that you would like it for your business, find a policy that is suitable for you, then make sure you get an appropriate amount of cover for your needs so you know that you and your business are protected.